Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The "reception and perception of women composers" (Tweets about Women Composers, part 2)

Cécile Chaminade wonders when she'll be heard on the radio as often as Maurice Duruflé.
Cécile Chaminade wonders when she'll be heard on
the radio as often as Maurice Duruflé.
Hello, and welcome to part 2 of our recent discussion on Twitter about women composers in history. If you want to see what prompted the conversation, check out part 1, in which musicologists point out that, just because you haven't heard of woman composers at a particular time, doesn't mean they didn't exist.

Again, I've chosen to embed the Tweets rather than transcribe them so you may interact with them if you'd like.

As the conversation went on, "symphonic rabble rouser" Emily E. Hogstad had a substantial amount to say:

That thread prompted many comments throughout, so I'll include some "parent Tweets" for orientation

And so on. Being Twitter, the conversation is still going as of the time I wrote this, but I'm going to cut it off here. A few Tweet threads veered into discussions of current women composers, which is also an important topic, but I chose to focus on women of the past because I'm a historian and that's where I feel most comfortable. (If you want more on current composers, I suggest starting with violist Michael Hall's Tweet.

Overall, I'm encouraged by these threads. You can probably sense the frustration and urgency in the Tweets; so many of us are non-males who have devoted our lives to an institution that ignores or undermines our gender. The current culture surrounding classical music is blatantly masculine, but that doesn't mean that classical music itself is masculine. We're just experiencing a point in time (albeit one that's lasted over a century) in which men have decided to tell stories about men. The stories of women (and others who are not necessarily male) already exist—now is the time to find them and tell them.

Special thanks to Emily E Hogstad and others for contributing to this discussion.

1 comment:

  1. As for the timeliness of this discussion, this article in the Boston Globe ran the day this entry posted: "Area musicians call on BSO to diversify programming."